Saturday 22 March 2014

Saint Molocca, Son of Colman Finn, March 22

On March 22 the Irish calendars commemorate Saint Molocca, son of Colman Finn, of Lilcach. Having both a patronymic and a place name recorded with the saint does not do a great deal to help identify him, as Canon O'Hanlon's brief entry below shows. He quotes, however, the opinion of Father Anthony Cogan that the place name may refer to a monastic site in County Meath. Cogan cited the records from the Annals of the Four Masters recording the deaths of prominent holy men associated with this site but our saint does not feature among them. We can start with Canon O'Hanlon's account and then move to Father Cogan:

St. Molocca, or Molocus, son of Colman Finn, of Lilcach

Such is the description we find, regarding this almost unknown holy personage. He is entered, in the Martyrology of Tallagh, at the 22nd of March, under the designation, Molocca mac Colmain find i Lilchaich. A notice of his feast occurs in the Bollandists' collection. Again, the name Molocca, son of Colman Finn, occurs in the Martyrology of Donegal, as having been venerated on this day. The exact locality of Lilcach, or Liolcach, has not been determined. It was near the Boyne, as we are informed; and, in all probability, not far removed from Slane, in the county of Meath.


The exact location of this monastery, called Liolcach, or Lilcach, has not as yet been identified. It was situated near the Boyne, and in all probability not far from Slane. The following notices of this place occur in the Four Masters:
512. Died, St. Erck, Bishop of Slane and Liolcach. 
723. St. Gall of Lilcach died. 
743. Cuan, Anchorite of Lilcach, died. 

 In the Martryology of Tallaght the festival of St. Cillene of Lilchaich is marked as having been commemorated on the 12th of March. 

Rev. A. Cogan, Diocese of Meath, Ancient and Modern, Volume 1, (Dublin, 1862), 229.

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